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Patriots-Steelers rematch among 10 NFL games we can’t wait to see on 2018 schedule


The NFL schedule for the 2018 season was set Thursday night, so you can start circling dates on your calendar. Potential playoff and Super Bowl previews, scintillating quarterback matchups, and reunion games are among the highlights. Here are the 10 games we’re most excited to see (in order of date; all time Eastern):

Raiders’ home opener

Sept. 10, 10:20 p.m., Monday night, vs. the Rams. New (and former) Oakland coach Jon Gruden has said he wants to bring the game back to 1998. Well, with his regular-season return to the Black Hole sideline after a nine-year hiatus, we will get to see how Chucky plans on shaping the Raiders’ identity.

Saints vs. Falcons

Sept. 23, 1 p.m., in Atlanta; Nov. 22, Thanksgiving, 8:20 p.m., in New Orleans. These teams don’t like each other. The NFC South was so competitive last season that an underrated rivalry shouldn’t disappoint in either of its iterations, which could very well carry massive playoff implications. And a Matt Ryan-Drew Brees faceoff — along with all the dynamic skill position players — makes it that much better.

Rodgers will also be under the spotlight considering he is coming off a broken collarbone and played just seven games in 2017. The injury derailed Green Bay’s season, and the dominant franchise missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 campaign.

The only realistic chance the Packers have at bouncing back is a healthy Rodgers, and he will have the opportunity to once again showcase what he can do to a national audience in this matchup.

Here are the 10 matchups we’re most excited to see (in order of date):

49ers at Vikings

Sept. 9, 1 p.m. Perhaps a surprising inclusion, this game features a few intriguing quarterback subplots. Kirk Cousins signed with Minnesota in March, though it was once believed he would reunite with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Instead, Jimmy Garoppolo is in charge after joining the Niners in a trade last October. He impressed in six games, going 5-0 as a starter, but a challenge against a stout Vikes defense should be captivating.

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